Tabling of the ICD’s Annual
Report 2009/10 and Statistics
30 September 2010
Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media.
The mandate of the ICD is to ensure that independent
and proper investigations of deaths in police custody
and deaths as a result of police action are carried
out effectively and efficiently. The ICD may also
investigate allegations of criminal offences and
misconduct committed by members of the South African
Police Service (SAPS) and Municipal Police Services
(MPS). Such offences include assault, rape, murder,
attempted murder and many others.
This morning, the ICD tabled its Annual Report for
2009/10 in Parliament. The following are some of the
highlights of that report:
Substantial improvements were made in the financial
management of the department and as a result the
department received an unqualified report from the
Auditor-General after five years of qualified audit
In terms of statistics, a total of 6 375 cases were
received during the financial year – this figure represents
a 4% increase when compared to the corresponding reporting
period in 2008/09.
Of the 6 375 cases received, 294 were deaths in police
custody whereas 566 were deaths as a result of police
action – of these, Metro police accounted for 10 deaths.
There was an overall 6% decrease in deaths in police
custody and deaths as a result of police action. 31% of
the deaths occurred in KwaZulu-Natal and 22% took place
in Gauteng. The Eastern Cape had 10% of the deaths. All the
other provinces handled less than 10% each.
With regards to deaths as a result of police action, 46%
occurred during the course of arrest, 22% occurred during
the commission of a crime and 10% of such deaths occurred
during the course of investigation. The details in regard
to the other circumstances are in the Annual Report.
The ICD also dealt with 2 462 allegations of criminal offences
against members of the SAPS. 20% of the criminal offences took
place in the Western Cape, while 14% were in Gauteng and
KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 7% of the criminal offences
investigated by the ICD. 37% of all criminal offences reported
to the ICD were assault GBH. Assualt common accounted for 17%
of the criminal offences, while 13% were cases of attempted murder.
It is important to note that not all complaints lodged against
police officers can be substantiated. This is due to a number
of reasons. In some instances, upon investigation it is found
that police officers have acted within the boundaries of the
law. In other instances there is just no evidence to prove
allegations made against police officers.
Those cases that can be substantiated are referred to the DPP
for a decision on prosecution. Similar recommendations are also
made to the SAPS management in respect of misconduct cases.
The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa welcomed today’s release
of the report and emphasized that the ministry’s recent tabling
of the ICD Bill in Parliament, will ensure that the ICD is
capacitated and strengthened to ensure that police powers are not
abused in future. “While the task ahead remains daunting, we are
gratified to note that in 2009/10 the number of deaths in police
custody and deaths as a result of police action have decreased by
6% compared to the same period in 2008/09.”
While the decrease is related to the decrease in crimes such as
cash in transit roberries, further efforts are made to reduce
unnecessary deaths. “A point we need to emphasize in this regard,
is that this decrease proves wrong speculative assertions that our
intentions to amend section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act, have
resulted in increased police brutality and killings of innocent
civilians,” added Minister Mthethwa.
In 48 cases, members of the SAPS were convicted for various criminal
offences; 25 were convicted in relation to deaths in police custody
and deaths as a result of police action, and 23 convictions were
related to other criminal offences. “The members who were convicted
for serious criminal offences have been dismissed from the police
service. This is in line with our commitment to ensuring that our
law enforcement agencies uphold the laws and Constitution of our
country,” stated the Minister.
He added that the slight increase in reporting of criminal
offences and misconduct is a reflection of the increased
accessibility of the ICD in areas where satellite offices have
been established. “This has given rural communities a facility
to report police offences and misdemeanors to a body that can
investigate independently and without fear or favour.”
The ICD made 526 recommendations for decisions to the Director
of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in criminal matters, and a total
of 1 666 recommendations were made by the ICD to SAPS management
with regard to various misconduct offences. “As a ministry, we will
be closely monitoring the outcome of such recommendations. We remain
confident that the new legislation will give this institution teeth to
enforce its recommendations. The days of the SAPS ignoring the ICD’s
recommendations will no longer be with us,” highlighted the Minister.
Minister Mthethwa said the fact that the ICD has received an unqualified
audit opinion from the Auditor-General is an indication of the improved
management of the ICD. “As the police leadership, we will continue to make
drastic efforts to further improve oversight over the police.”
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Issued by the Independent Complaints Directorate